GW2: Shaping History With Your Vote

So, all the latest excitement both in-game in Lion’s Arch and in the Guild Wars 2 Reddit is the discussion about whether one is in #TeamGnashblade or #TeamKiel for the upcoming update of Cutthroat Politics.

Before we get partisan here, I’d just want to point out that this is an exciting development in player involvement with the Living Story. It harkens back to when one was given the choice to vote for Dwayna or Grenth in Guild Wars 1 in order to get a shiny hat, but a lot deeper.

Players get to both control the story and the direction of the game with their vote.

Players are making lasting history.

Whatever way we choose, we are giving up something in order to get something else. Choices and consequences. Meaningful decisions in gameplay.

Now for the analysis:

The hardcore in the Guild Wars 2 Reddit and the GW1 old guard appear to be all over Evon Gnashblade. The Fall of Abaddon as a fractal is a very tempting lure because it’s a link to both old GW1 lore (one of the major strengths of GW2 is being able to tie back into a long established history) and all bets are likely that it’s going to be gorgeous to have a look at Old Orr and the City of Arah before the Fall. There’s Gods and shit. How epic would that be?

As for Black Lion Keys, well, they’re a side benefit, but no one really gives a toss.

The fear of #TeamGnashblade is that Ellen Kiel may promise the ‘casuals’ and the not-interested-in-lore (the unspoken feeling is that it may in fact be a majority over those who prowl Reddit) decreased waypoint costs for a month.

How freaking tempting is that? Gold is always hard to come by and waypoint costs are a sneaky goldsink that affects everyone playing the game.

Finding out more about the Thaumanova Reactor explosion seems less appealing a fractals choice than the former as familiarity breeds contempt and a lot of people see the fire elemental in the reactor remains every day. Though again, some of the fear is that the new GW2 crowd who doesn’t appreciate the past may vote for it out of familiarity with the name. Others argue that we know a lot less about the reactor explosion, and that it may be an important crux point of recent GW2 lore, what with all the dealing with the fallout and chaotic portals and magic going awry that has been established in various zones in the game.

I just want to point out something that may be overlooked in all this fractals-focused excitement.

Let us not forget that this is part of the active and ongoing Living Story storyline.

We’re familiar with Ellen Kiel. She’s been established as a key ‘good guy’ type of character – a Lionguard who has worked with us since Southsun. She seems to have fairly good relations with Magnus and she now owns a frigging’ Aetherblade airship.

On the other hand, she is just a grunt out of nowhere and may not have the political acumen to last a day on the Captain’s Council. Then again, she managed to balance the pressing demands of the Consortium and still cater to refugee needs and be a good person on Southsun. She appears to be keen to work for fairness and balance, a reasonable deal between Lion’s Arch and the Zephyr Sanctum.

Evon Gnashblade seemingly comes out of nowhere, cast in the light of the greedy profiteering merchant owner of the Black Lion Trading Company and looks a little typecast as the ‘bad guy.’ Then again, most Charr look like bad guys, and you can’t really hold genetics against them, eh?

He’s an established citizen of Lion’s Arch and claims to be looking after the interests of Lion’s Arch first and foremost. He may end up doing a cutthroat deal with the Zephyr Sanctum to put LA (and/or himself and BLTC) first. He has no doubt plenty of backstabbing political experience to survive well on the Captain’s Council. And if he’s in charge of the Black Lion Trading Company and the Consortium are its competitors, that’s probably okay, right?

What are the things being left unsaid?

The most pressing question is why the hell Evon Gnashblade? Why him, just popping out of nowhere? Is he just a new unheralded NPC?


In the Molten Alliance denouement, the only thing known of the figure behind the alliance of dredge and Flame Legion charr, is that he or she came from a city and was a persuasive talker.  The dredge prisoner curses out a ““Lying, silver-tongued, snake-nosed trickster.”

At the end of the Aetherblade Retreat dungeon, Mai Trin says that someone else was also behind this, and that “Scarlet is going to have my noggin for screwing up.”


You don't fool me. (Then again, maybe I'm Scarlet and trying to throw you all off the scent!)
You don’t fool me.

Thank you, I rest my case.

I’ll be voting for Ellen Kiel.

And if the worst happens, well, there’s a cool fractal as a consolation prize.

9 thoughts on “GW2: Shaping History With Your Vote

  1. Hah, awesome pickup there for Evon being Scarlett. I wonder if he is “Mr. E”? 😛 Either way I’m voting Kiel. I don’t like fractals nor ever buy black lion keys. Waypoints on the other hand, affect every one.


    1. That’s a good call too. I didn’t make that link, but it fits!

      He sets up Mai Trin by putting Marjory and us on the case. He can’t have her succeeding with her plan to take the Captain’s Council seat which he wants.

      See what scum he is?!


  2. @Jeromai

    There is a picture I saw somewhere (reddit, I think) that show a Molten Alliance boss and a Aetherbalde Sky Pirate boss bowing to a sylvari with red leafs (hair). My guess is that she is “Scarlet”. That too point for the main evil faction being an alliance (or “consortium”) between the main evil factions: Nightmare, Inquest and White Mantle. And that they are (or they are behind) the Consortium.

    Sincerelly, before see the rewards I was a vote for Kiel. Now I have no idea. Story wise, I can vote for Kiel, she helped players too many times. But too I am very suspicious because Anet have the bad habit to make us ally with the later to be revealed villains. Remember GW1, we players worked for the White Mantle before we finally learn they were the real villains. The problem with Anet is that they make the villains be inteligent and inteligent villains will try disguise as “good guys”.

    If I try think logically, if the intention fo the villains is get a seat in the Council, Ellen Kiel is the perfect mole agent for it. That was the hole in the plan of Aetherblades, how to make Mai Trin gain a seat for the council? If the plan was not make Mai Trin gain a seat, but other people, that role fits nice for a “mole agent” Ellen Kiel.

    [take note that if Ellen Kiel is a “mole agent”, she problably is the “lying, siver-tongued, snake-nosed thickster” that dredge talks]

    Anyway, kudos for @Joseph Skyrim: Mr E is problably Evon Gnashblade. If true, he was helping the players for some time now (remember the mails from some “herald” from the personal story?). Not exactly because he is a good guy, but problably because Black Lion Trade company had a lot to gain if helped the players to defeat the villains.

    For that reason, my vote will go for Mr. E.

    However, I am sure this will be a very disputed election. So, congratulation to Anet, this will be fun.


    1. I believe that Reddit picture was a fake. Someone mentioned it was made using the Infinite Berserker Tonic and an Aetherized Tonic.

      Well, if we want to play double agent conspiracy theories, I’ll point out that Ellen Kiel’s election colors are consortium colors – blue and yellow, and she could be Mr E too. The only thing that doesn’t add up is the Scarlet link, which is why I lean more towards Evon as the one.

      If ArenaNet is really mean, they could just tweak the story so that whoever gets elected will be the villain. In which case, Ellen Kiel as a sleeper agent and Evon as the appearances-are-deceiving hero would be so much more interesting than the opposite, no?

      Either way, Ellen Kiel is the wisest choice! 😛

      Tongue-out-of-cheek, I’m having a good time, and I think the whole GW2 community is too, with this election story development.


      1. @Jeromai,

        There is a living world story and the holes at that story are closed if Ellen Kiel is a sleeper agent:
        1- she helped Carnach to escape when Lost Shores ended:
        2- she helped Carnach get inside the Molten Alliance dungeon for he gain that molten gloves;
        3- the real intention behing the conflict between refugees and the Consortium was to make Ellen Kiel be a hero for both refugees and LA (maybe other hidden reasons exist, take note after Ellen Kiel helped the refugees, they decided to stay in that island);
        4- Mai was a too much easy to see culprit for the attacks and the intention was to make Ellen Kiel solve the case;
        5- after that private eye steal the show, Ellens Kiel finds where is the Aetherblades ship, just bellow the noses from everyone from LA, and help to capture Mai (that is suspicious… how Ellen Kiel found where is the secret entry to that ship? or maybe she ever know it and Mai is working with her?)

        I too think Ellen Kiel is the silver-tongues NPC that helped to forge the Molten Alliance.

        With relation to Mr E… it is Mister, not Miss…

        “[…] I think the whole GW2 community is too, with this election story development.”

        Take note the hunger games we saw at Beta had two factions. IMHO we will see two factions the next hunger games: the Ellen faction and the Evon faction. That is take politics to a new level, war. Clausewitz will be happy.


  3. I’m voting Gnashblade. He’s a Charr. I don’t need another reason.

    Speculation is enormous fun but I just have no belief whatsoever that any of this stuff was planned out long in advance. It may well turn out that Gnashblade is Mr E. or even the mysterious Herald but if so I’m sure that will be retrofitted continuity.

    I do think that we may now be getting to the point where this stuff actually is being forward-planned and there may be design documents but I can’t imagine that was the case until pretty recently. There have been far to many abrupt and apparently arbitrary changes of direction for me to believe that.

    I like the idea of the election but like almost everything that’s ever happened in GW2 it comes too suddenly and with too little detail for me to feel it’s much more than a rhetorical device.

    Also, in a meta-sense I don’t see how Gnashblade can be a villain. The Black Lion Trading Company is synonymous with the Gem Shop which is synonymous with Anet. If Gnashblade is revealed as a lying, cheating scoundrel, who are his victims? We, the players. And who cheated us? ANet. If I was their PR rep I’d have shot that idea down at the first story conference.


    1. @baghpuss
      “I do think that we may now be getting to the point where this stuff actually is being forward-planned and there may be design documents but I can’t imagine that was the case until pretty recently. There have been far to many abrupt and apparently arbitrary changes of direction for me to believe that.”

      They have 4 teams working at these living world content. They too had two writers that made the story for all events for one year. That 4 teams problably are following aht script.

      Take note that because they are 4 teams, each team have 3 months for develop the content. So, this vote event started to be developed 4 months ago (3 months development + 1 month go live). After the voting, the current team will have 3 months develop the new fractal while the other 3 teams show the content they developed. So, we will see new fractal at the fourth month after july, november.

      The story was planned. The problem is make 4 teams work with the same standards, but eventually the management will have it done. But the story span one year, so it will need some time for we see the conclusion, that will happen at the end of this year.


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